ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — The 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley partnered with the Kansas City Chiefs for a ‘Meet Your Army’ community relations and recruitment engagement, Aug. 17, 2022, at the Chiefs training camp in St. Joseph, Missouri.
The 1st Inf. Div. held the event alongside the U.S. Army Kansas City Recruiting Battalion to speak and interact with local Kansas City area residents during the Chiefs training camp’s 8th Annual Military Appreciation Day.
The 97th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, through the 1st Inf. Div., and the 79th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, 71st Ordnance Group (EOD), through the 1st Inf. Div. Sustainment Brigade, facilitated interactive displays where training camp attendees could learn more about different Army career fields.
“Working with 1ID has been amazing and we’re thankful for all of the assets that they brought with them today,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Christopher Collins, the KC Recruiting Bn. commander. “We’re humbled and honored to be here with the Chiefs. Having them allow us to partner and highlight a portion of the military and its capabilities is super exciting.”
‘Meet Your Army’ is a U.S. Army campaign that highlights the opportunities and benefits of Army service that can help today’s youth achieve their personal and professional goals, now and in the future.
“The ‘Meet Your Army’ campaign is important because it opens up the service to the general public to have a better understanding of what it is that we do,” said Collins, a former Big Red One Soldier. “It helps us with our mission for recruiting and allows us to be an integral part of the local community.”
Following the training camp practice, one service member from each U.S. military branch received a specialized football from Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. Big Red One Soldier U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Enriquez, assigned to the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, was the Army’s game ball recipient.
1st Inf. Div. key leaders also participated in a gift exchange with Reid and Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes II. Reid and Mahomes both received an encased 1st Inf. Div. helmet and Reid gifted the division a signed Super Bowl champion poster, while Mahomes autographed keepsakes for individual service men and women.
In addition, 18 recruits from the KC Recruiting Bn. had the unique opportunity of taking their initial Oath of Enlistment during the training camp.
“It’s great that the Chiefs are so welcoming and are showing they appreciate the military,” said D’Wayne Thorpe, a ‘Warhorse’ Bn. recruit. “It feels good to have sworn in here and know that I’m going to be a part of something bigger than myself.”
The Jamaica native said that he looks forward to seeing what other once-in-a-lifetime opportunities the Army will bring him as begins his military career.
“Joining the Army is something I’ve always thought about,” said Thorpe. “I think that it adds value to life as a person. It can encourage you in a lot of ways, so I’ve always viewed it as an improvement to life.”